London City Airport closed after WWII bomb discovered

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

London City Airport closed after WWII bomb discovered

A plane waits on the runway at London City Airport.

(CNN) London City Airport will remain closed through Monday after a World War II bomb was discovered by construction workers in the nearby Thames River a day earlier.

After the discovery of the unexploded bomb near King George V Dock on Sunday, the airport canceled all flights and put an exclusion zone in place, airport Chief Executive Robert Sinclair said in a statement.
“I recognize this is causing inconvenience for our passengers,” Sinclair added, saying that the airport is “cooperating fully with the Met Police and Royal Navy and working hard to safely remove the device and resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”
The airport said it is “hoping to resume normal operation” on Tuesday, according to a tweet from the airport’s official account, and urged all passengers due to fly to contact their airlines for further information.
Metropolitan Police and the Royal Navy were deployed to the scene to examine the bomb and have confirmed it as a “500 kg (1102 pounds) tapered end shell measuring approximately 1.5 meters (4.9 feet),” according to a police statement issued Monday. “The timing of removal is dependent on the tides, however, at this stage we estimate that the removal of the device from location will be completed by tomorrow morning.”
The Royal Navy implemented the 214-meter exclusion zone to “ensure that the ordnance can be safely dealt with whilst limiting any risk to the public,” the police statement said.
In an effort to minimize the disruption, officers are going to homes within the exclusion zone to make residents aware of any safety arrangement put in place, the statement added.
London City is an international airport located in the borough of Newham in East London. The area was heavily industrial and highly populated during WWII. The Royal Docks, where the runway is now located, were a main entry point on the Thames for goods and commerce.
The airport, which is much smaller than London Heathrow Airport, caters to business travelers heading to destinations in the UK, Europe and the United States.

How Does Centrally Planned China Raise Capital?-Answer, Hong Kong

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF FORBES INVESTING MARKET MOVES)

 

Investing #MarketMoves

How Does Centrally Planned China Raise Capital?

I write financial newsletters for investors on how to profit in Asia.  Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

A general view from Victoria Peak shows Victoria Harbour and the skylines of the Kowloon district (background) and Hong Kong island (foreground) on July 3, 2017. (ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images)

Through careful planning and strategic economic policy reforms, mainland China has evolved from a country struck by poverty to the world’s second largest economy. But don’t think this was solely the Chinese bureaucrats’ doing.  The U.K.’s special “present” to China proved to be essential to the story of China’s miraculous development.

In 1997, Tony Blair, who was U.K.’s prime minister at the time, went to Hong Kong to give the city back to Beijing. 156 years of colonial rule had completely transformed the city.

What was once a backwards fishing village, was now one of the worlds’ most important financial hubs.

Hong Kong currently has the highest concentration of international banks in the world. The 71 largest international banks and almost 300 international fund management companies are housed in Hong Kong. The island also has most beneficial legal regulations for both residents and companies.

China basically saw Hong Kong attending a 150 yearlong financial course. The financial powerhouse now belongs back to the Middle Kingdom that uses it to funnel foreign capital into its centrally planned economy. Something the mainland wasn’t able to do by itself.

Never before has a centrally planned economy ever received such a precious gift as Hong Kong.

How Hong Kong feeds China

Companies in planned economies – like China’s – typically have a hard time raising capital. That makes Hong Kong a key factor in China’s economic development.

With its leading financial institutions in place, Hong Kong is able to raise capital unhindered by political or economic instability. A problem free market economies like in the U.S. generally have to deal with.

Four years before Hong Kong was given back to China, it was responsible for 27% of China’s GDP. Let’s put this in perspective. At the time, only 6.5 million people lived in Hong Kong while mainland China had a population of 1 billion people. It’s easy to see that Hong Kong’s impact on China’s economic growth was tremendous.

The mainland did catch up over time as the graph below clearly illustrates. By 2017, Hong Kong accounted for merely 3% of the GDP.

One Road Research

Hong Kong’s Share of China’s GDP

Hong Kong’s return in 1997 coincided with the dramatic rise of China’s GDP.

One Road Research

China’s GDP in Current US$

China’s economic growth was partially due to twenty years of export-oriented policies from Beijing. But without Hong Kong’s well-established financial markets, necessary funds couldn’t have been raised.

Who Do You Consider To Be ‘Your Family’

WHO DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE ‘YOUR FAMILY’

Who do you consider your family to be? I know from raising this subject within small groups that people have a wide variety of answers to that simple question. Some people only feel that their immediate household is their family, you know, Mom, Dad, and siblings. I have met quite a few people who have even divorced some of or all of those people from their lives. I have met many people who are by blood siblings or parents of friends that I know well, whom when you meet them you see why your friends have no use for this or that blood relative. When I was growing up I was inundated by alcoholics who were also close blood and of course those they chose to hang around with guzzled the suds too. These days it seems that drugs like crack and meth are the vehicle which is totally tearing families apart. When people get hooked on those chemicals they usually find themselves unemployed and homeless when they have used up all of their friends and family because they will steal from anyone to get another high. After a while even close family members tell them to never darken their doorway again. Of course there are many other reasons also that causes families to fall apart, to me, either which way you look at this issue it is sad when brother won’t speak to his brother, or parent to child.

 

My wife as well as a few other people throughout my life have told me they think I’m nuts because to me once you are family, you are always family. I have at times joked that I must have some Italian blood in my veins because of how I feel about this issue. I know that I don’t, my tree just goes back to Norway, Ireland, Scotland, and England so I’m just a Scandinavian area mutt. The only brother that I ever knew (one brother died before I was born) was married three times before he died from an aneurysm at the age of 43. He was seven years older than me and so he was out cating around well before I was. Each of the three ladies that he married already had kids when he married them. He had one child with each of them but there were/are 18 kids that weren’t his. Don’t think that I am trying to get uppity on my brother now because I myself have been married three times also. Total I have two blood kids of my own and I have two-step kids that to me are my kids as if they were blood, I love all four of them. They are all four grown and I have seven grand-kids now, I consider myself to be a very fortunate person.

 

The place where about everyone I know thinks we have this in our DNA of still caring, or we don’t. I am from a small core family of five so the people, once you are family, you are always family. Should I not speak with former in-laws of my own or of my brother just because of a divorce? Do you just stop communicating with people that you grew to love as if they just don’t matter anymore? To me it is difficult to stop loving someone who you have honestly loved. You see, to me all of my brothers kids and step kids are my nephews and nieces and they always will be, just as his three x-wives will always be sisters to me.

 

What is your opinion on my line of thoughts and beliefs about family? Do you think I am just plain odd that I would count people as family the way I do? What is your opinion on whom you consider to be in your heart. I have met a few people who when they got old enough to get out on their own they totally divorced themselves from everyone they knew usually because of how they were treated in their growing up years. To me that would be a sad personal situation for any person to be in but I have also know of parents who put their kid on the street and told them to never come to their door again. It is sad for people to have such splits in their lives, it really doesn’t surprise me why many people only consider people who are not blood, to be their real family. Well, if you would, drop me a line on your thought’s of what or who, that you consider to make up a family. Thank you for your time, I appreciate you stopping in. Goodnight and God’s blessings I pray for you and your family, (inner circle).–Shalom

 

President Trump Is Correct About Putting America First

TRUMP PUTTING AMERICA FIRST IS THE ONLY CORRECT THING TO DO

 

As anyone who reads the Blog surely knows by now, I am not at all a fan of Donald Trump. It is difficult for me to think of a civil word in the concept of describing this person. Those who follow this Blog also know that I am not a fan of Hillary Clinton so I hope that you understand this article today is not about being a Democrat or a Republican as I am neither. So far though I do believe that the Republican Party is bringing much harm to themselves by standing behind this President. I do believe that if the Republicans have not gotten the guts to stand with the Democrats and to impeach Trump from Office before the November 2018 Mid-term Elections they are going to get slaughtered in those Elections. On a side note, I also feel that the Christians who are standing with this President are doing a great dishonor to Christ and His Holy Name as there is nothing holy about Mr. Trump. It is right and correct to pray for our Leaders but it is sinful to back sinful policies in the name of Christianity.

 

Now to the main headline of today’s commentary. Ever since Mr. Trump in his Campaign started using the slogan ‘America First’ he has drawn a lot of fire and anger from ‘the left, Democrats and liberals’. To me this anger is total stupidity! I do totally believe that Mr. Trump is a total racists but I do not at all consider this ‘slogan’ to be racist in any way. If Mr. Trump was saying something along the lines of ‘Whites First’ then yes, that would be totally racist. Yet any Leader or want to be Leader of any country who doesn’t create policies to put his own Nation first has no business being a Leader of that Nation. Think about it for a moment, if Mr. Trump’s slogan was ‘China First, or Russia First’, do you think that the American people would have elected him?

 

If Chancellor Merkel of Germany vocally or via policies said her goal is to put the EU before Germany should be voted out of Office? If Prime Minister May of England did the same thing, should she be the Prime Minister? How about President Jinping of China, if he was pushing a policy of Japan first, would he still be the President of China? How about Mr. Putin of Russia, if he was saying ‘America First’, would he still be the President of Russia? What I am saying is, of course Mr. Trump should put the interest of America first, if he didn’t, wouldn’t he then be a traitor to his own Country? What I am saying is, just because you or I believe this person (I have a hard time calling him a man) to be ignorant self-centered scum of the Earth, it does not mean that everything he says is wrong nor from his racist Soul.

Ecuador grants nationality to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CBS NEWS)

 

Ecuador grants nationality to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

Last Updated Jan 11, 2018 2:24 PM EST

QUITO, Ecuador – Ecuador has granted citizenship to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been living in asylum at the nation’s embassy in London for more than five years.

The nation’s foreign minister announced Thursday that officials had decided to permit Assange’s naturalization while they look for ways to resolve his situation.

Ecuador gave Assange political asylum after he sought refuge in the embassy in 2012 to avoid a Swedish extradition request on a case of alleged rape. While Sweden temporarily dropped that investigation, British officials say they’d still arrest him on charges of bail jumping. Assange also fears a possible U.S. extradition request stemming from the leaking of classified U.S. documents.

Britain’s Foreign Office said Thursday it had rejected Ecuador’s request to grant diplomatic status to Assange, who was born in Australia.

“The granting of Ecuadorean nationality does not in any way change Julian Assange’s legal status in the U.K.,” a government spokesman said. “The Government of Ecuador knows that the way to resolve the situation is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice. Nobody should pretend that granting him Ecuadorean citizenship is a route to solving this longstanding issue.”

First Judeo-Christian Crusade for Jerusalem

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HUFFINGTON POST)

 

First Judeo-Christian Crusade for Jerusalem

12/25/2017 01:32 pm ET

PIXABAY
Fragile Peace

The word Crusade is associated with the European Christians of Middle Ages. The declared purpose of the European Crusades was to reclaim Jerusalem from Muslims. Currently, a Judeo-Christian Crusade is underway to consolidate the territorial claims of Israel, a state instituted by the European Jews with the support of the European Christians, in lands that constitute historical Palestine. Since 1948, the European Jews have occupied some parts of Palestine through a colonial gift from Great Britain and some parts through wars and settlements. Jerusalem, however, is still a disputed city. The Jews, supported by Evangelical Christians, claim exclusive and complete authority over Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel.

On December 6, 2017, the United States officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This recognition alters the nature of the conflict from an Israeli-Palestinian issue to a grand conflict between Jews and Muslims. Muslims willing to recognize Israel are refusing to recognize the Jewish sovereignty over entire Jerusalem. The 56 Muslim nations spanning from Morocco to Indonesia reject the Jewish claim over Jerusalem, as do some other nations, including France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, the nations that themselves conducted the Christian Crusades of the Middle Ages.

A brief comparative study of the First Christian Crusade and the First Judeo-Christian Crusade furnishes profound historical insights and may even predict the probable future course of the conflict. It appears that the Muslims would strive to reverse the gains of the Judeo-Christian Crusade as they did those of the Christian Crusades. However, numerous complicating factors thicken the plot.

First Christian Crusade (1099)

In 636, four years after the Prophet Muhammad’s death, Muslims conquered Jerusalem, a city located in the Christian Byzantium province called Palestina Prima. From thereon, the European Christians, particularly the Franks, were determined to reconquer the city by all means necessary. For them, Jerusalem was the sacred town where Jesus was born, crucified, rose from the dead to the heavens, and “would return to the earth with the great sound of a trumpet.” On July 15, 1099, four hundred and sixty-three years after the Muslim conquest, the European Crusaders seized Jerusalem from the Fatimid Caliphate headquartered in Cairo. However, the Crusaders refused to cede the city to the Byzantium, the pre-Islamic sovereign of Jerusalem.

Warfare needs theories. Peter the Hermit (1050-1115) theorized that the chaos in the world prevailed because Muslims ruled Jerusalem and that reclaiming the holy city from the heathens would bring peace to humanity. Acting upon the Hermit’s theory, the European Christians plotted to cleanse Jerusalem of all nonbelievers, Muslims, and Jews, for the exclusive domination of the Christians. The merciless massacre of Jews and Muslims living in Palestine was defended in the name of Deus Vult (God wills it.)

Peter the Hermit might have been far less influential than the credit he receives in European history. Yet the First Crusade transformed European Christianity. The crusading theology discarded the New Testament teaching of turning the other cheek and promoted a notion of pitiless warfare for “just causes” turning Europe into a killing machine for centuries to come. The expulsions and the holocaust of Jews, the colonization of the Middle East, and the current Islamophobia in Europe are the revival shocks of the Hermit’s theorization.

Since God works in mysterious ways, the Hermit’s crusading theology flopped to bring peace to the world and God declined to keep Jerusalem under the Christian hegemony. The Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem came to an abrupt termination in less than a hundred years. In 1187, Saladin, a Kurdish Muslim military leader, recaptured Jerusalem. For centuries onward, Jerusalem would remain under the control of various Muslim dynasties. In the 20th century, however, the European Christians and the European Jews joined hands, the first time in history, to defeat Muslims occupying the holy land.

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First Judeo-Christian Crusade

It is unclear how to date the first Judeo-Christian Crusade to recapture Jerusalem from Muslims. Some might date it from the November 1917 Balfour Declaration when the United Kingdom, then at war with the Ottoman Empire, promised to establish a homeland for Jews in Palestine, an Ottoman territory. Some might date it from May 1948, when Israel was declared an independent state. Some might date it from June 1967, when the Jews defeated the Arab armies and conquered East Jerusalem and other Muslim territories. Some might date it from December 2017 when the United States recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. November 1917 is most certainly the date for the public declaration of the first Judeo-Christian Crusade. June 1967 is a more realistic date for the actual conquest of Jerusalem. December 2017 is significant because this is when the United States abandoned its false neutrality and openly sided with the Jews against the Muslims.

Whatever date is the origin of the Judeo-Christian Crusade, this is the first time that Jews and Christians have come together to take Palestine and Jerusalem away from the Muslims.

Even though many Christian nations are divided over the final status of Jerusalem, their support of Israel as a replacement state in Palestine has been loud and clear. The United States and many other Christian nations support Israel in its wars with Muslim countries. Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, and Yemen have been deliberately destroyed to strengthen the foothold of Israel in the region. Iran is next in line. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and some other Muslim countries have been compromised in favor of Israel by non-representative governments, monetary incentives, and military threats.

Since Israel is militarily invincible, Muslims cannot take back Jerusalem by force. For all practical purposes, Jerusalem is already under the exclusive control of Jews, what Israel calls “the truth.” Jerusalem is home to Israel’s legislature, its Supreme Court, and the prime minister. In recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, President Trump says, “This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality.” Thus, Jerusalem is a disputed city only in unenforceable U.N. resolutions. The Jews are doing whatever they can to slowly but steadily remove the defiant Muslim residents of the city through settlements, demolition of houses, and purchases of real property.

Complicating Factors

It is unclear whether Muslims have now lost Jerusalem and Palestine for all times to come. The Muslim defeat appears to be a foregone conclusion, a fact on the ground. The European and other Christian countries seem to have made a commitment to the survival of Israel. Muslim countries neighboring Israel, which refused to recognize Israel, have been decimated. Nations, such as Iran, which oppose the existence of Israel, have been marked out for retaliation. Efforts are underway to foment a grinding war between Shias and Sunnis to further eliminate any unified Muslim threat to Israel. Muslim militants who oppose the Jewish sovereignty over Palestine are universally condemned as terrorists. Right now, Muslim militants are fighting their own governments. Taking Jerusalem as a flashpoint, it is likely that the militants will begin to fight Israel.

Furthermore, the demographics pose the greatest threat to Israel. Within Israel, nearly 20% of the population is Muslim of various denominations. These Muslims, more than a million, are Israeli citizens. In Gaza and West Bank, the areas under Israeli occupation, nearly five million Muslims refuse to accept Israel as a legitimate state. Another five million descendants of the Palestinian refugees live in Jordan and Lebanon, dreaming the right to return to the land of their ancestors displaced in 1948. Periodically, intifada is likely to erupt to revive resistance to Israeli occupation.

It is also unclear whether all Muslims nations will ever recognize Israel as a lawful state. It is also likely that Muslims nations that have recognized Israel, such as Egypt and Jordan, may come under popular pressure from their peoples to reverse recognition. Brewing militancy, threats of the intifada, and the dynamics of Muslim non-recognition of Israel demonstrate that the Judeo-Christian Crusade for the control of Palestine and Jerusalem faces an unpredictable future.

Ali Khan is the author of Shariah and Sufism (2017) and Flexibility under Islamic L

England: New $3 Billion Dollar Aircraft Carrier Has A Huge Leak

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BRITISH NEWS PAPER ‘THE SUN’)

 

The vast warship is letting in 200 litres of water every hour due to a faulty seal around one of its propeller shafts

THE Royal Navy’s new £3.1billion aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has a leak so serious it may need to go back into dry dock — for repairs that will cost millions.

A faulty seal around one of the vast warship’s propeller shafts means 200 litres of sea water pour in every hour.

 The Royal Navy's new £3.1billion aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has a 'significant' leak that may cost millions

PA:PRESS ASSOCIATION
5
The Royal Navy’s new £3.1billion aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has a ‘significant’ leak that may cost millions

Insiders said there is a “significant” defect with the stern seal, an inflatable rubber ring that fits around one of the propeller shafts.

The problem was spotted during sea trials.

Top Brass are furious because the carrier, the UK’s largest ever warship, had the fault when it was delivered by ship building partnership the ­Aircraft Carrier Alliance.

That means the manufacturers will have to pay for the repairs, not the Ministry of Defence.

 A faulty seal around one of the vast warship’s propeller shafts means 200 litres of sea water pour in every hour

5
A faulty seal around one of the vast warship’s propeller shafts means 200 litres of sea water pour in every hour

But the Navy is now concerned about future repairs which would have to be funded by the taxpayer.

An insider added: “We’re about to uncover the true cost of carrier ­operations.

“There is a feeling that the ACA mugged us off by not sorting this before the handover.”

The Queen Elizabeth is currently in Portsmouth and may need to go back into dry dock to be fixed.

 The Queen unveiled the HMS Queen Elizabeth just over a week ago

GETTY IMAGES – GETTY
5
The Queen unveiled the HMS Queen Elizabeth just over a week ago

The insider said: “She has a leaky stern seal and may need to be docked down to fix it up in Rosyth.

“The seal sits at the point where the shaft leaves the ship.

“It’s pretty important for keeping the water out. It’s leaking at approximately 200 litres an hour which is pretty significant.”

 The repairs to the vast warship are expected to cost millions - but the bill will be footed by manufacturers

5
The repairs to the vast warship are expected to cost millions – but the bill will be footed by manufacturers

An investigation is under way to discover if sister ship HMS Prince of Wales, which is yet to start sea trials, has the same problem.

Despite the fault, the carrier will still go on further sea trials early next year.

At present internal pumps are clearing the sea water and sources say the leak will be fixed by the time it sets sail again.

Sources also say the defective part is not a design fault — like the issue which plagued the fleet of £1billion Type 45 Destroyers.

They have a fault which causes them to break down in hot weather.

The 65,000-ton, 932ft carrier, which has a crew of 700, was formally welcomed into the fleet by the Queen two weeks ago.

Play Video

Queen at ceremony in Portsmouth to commission Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth

Her Majesty was guest of honour at the ship’s commissioning in Portsmouth.

The Queen said of the carrier: “She will in the years and decades ahead represent the country’s resolve on the global stage.”

The Royal Navy confirmed yesterday: “An issue with a shaft seal has been identified during HMS Queen Elizabeth’s sea trials.

“This is scheduled for repair while she is alongside at Portsmouth.

“It does not prevent her from sailing again and her sea trials programme will not be affected.”

 The 65,000-ton ship is expected to be the Royal Navy's flagship for at least 50 years

PA:PRESS ASSOCIATION
5
The 65,000-ton ship is expected to be the Royal Navy’s flagship for at least 50 years

A spokesman for ACA said: “HMS Queen Elizabeth has been accepted into Her Majesty’s fleet.

“It is normal practice for a volume of work and defect resolution to continue following vessel acceptance.

“This will be completed prior to the nation’s flagship re-commencing her programme at sea in 2018.”

Play Video

HMS Queen Elizabeth, the UK’s most powerful ever flagship departs on maiden voyage

YouTube Stunt: 22 Yr Old UK Man: Cemented His Head In A Microwave

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

By KATE SAMUELSON

December 8, 2017

A U.K.-based fire service has said it is “seriously unimpressed” with a 22-year-old man after five firefighters spent an hour freeing his head from a microwave oven he had “cemented” himself inside as part of a stunt he was filming for YouTube.

The man, based in the English city of Wolverhampton, had mixed quick-dry spackling paste and poured it around his head, which was protected by plastic bag inside the microwave, which was intended to act as a mold, according to West Midlands Fire. However, the prankster soon became trapped and after 90 minutes of unsuccessful help from friends, the fire brigade was called in.

After an hour, the fire firefighters managed to rescue the man, who was breathing with the help of an air tube his friends had managed to feed through the appliance, officials said.

“As funny as this sounds, this young man could quite easily have suffocated or have been seriously injured,” said Watch Commander Shaun Dakin in a statement. “Taking the microwave apart was tricky, because a lot of it was welded. We video-called our technical rescue colleagues for advice and eventually managed to get him unstuck.”

Dakin added: “He was very relieved when we removed a large chunk of the Polyfilla with a screwdriver, allowing him to breathe more easily. But we had to be extremely careful with the screwdriver, working so closely to his head. It took us nearly an hour to free him. All of the group involved were very apologetic, but this was clearly a call-out which might have prevented us from helping someone else in genuine, accidental need.”

The man has since been identified as YouTube personality Jay Swingler and the stunt was part of the TGFbro channel’s ‘extreme Christmas calendar,’ in which Swingler and his friend set each other challenges in the countdown to December 25. A past challenge includes the pair ‘burying’ themselves in expanding foam.

A video posted on the TGFbro channel on Dec. 7, with the catchy title of ‘I cemented my head in a microwave and emergency services came.. (nearly died)‘, shows the incident from the YouTubers’ perspective.

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London police stand down after Oxford Circus incident

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

London police stand down after Oxford Circus incident

London (CNN)London police have found no “trace of any suspects” or “evidence of shots fired” after responding to a reported incident on Oxford Street, in the heart of the city’s shopping district.

Metropolitan Police said officers responded to the incident as if it was terrorism given the nature of the information received.
“Some cordons remain in place and additional officers remain on duty in the West End to reassure the public. We thank the public for their patience and assistance during our response,” Police said in a statement.
Police had received multiple reports of shots fired at 4:38 p.m. (11:38 a.m. ET) on Oxford Street and at the Oxford Circus underground train station. They gave no details on what happened, but crowds were seen running down Oxford Street, a shopping strip usually busy with pedestrians and heavy traffic.
The incident happened as throngs of shoppers flocked to the area for Black Friday retail sales.
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Oxford Circus station was evacuated, while thousands of people were cordoned away from the area as a large police presence descended on the scene. Many people took shelter in nearby buildings.

Armed police patrol near Oxford Street as they respond to an incident on Friday in London.

British Transport Police said they had a report of one woman with minor injuries received while leaving Oxford Circus station. They reported no other casualties, and say their response to the incident has now been “stood down”.
The cause of the initial reports was not clear late Friday, but the fast and organized police response was a reminder that London is a city on high alert, following a string of terror attacks this year.

Papadopoulos represented Trump campaign at meetings with British officials, Israeli settlers

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Papadopoulos represented Trump campaign at meetings with British officials, Israeli settlers

Caputo: Papadopoulos was a coffee boy

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Trump’s allies have dismissed the former adviser’s influence
  • But reports show he has acted as a representative for Trump’s presidential campaign in a working capacity

Washington (CNN)He’s been dismissed as a “low-level volunteer” and just a “coffee boy,” but former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos represented the Trump campaign at various meetings with foreign officials up until Inauguration Day.

In October, Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI “about the timing, extent, and nature of his relationships and interactions with certain foreign nationals whom he understood to have close connections with senior Russian government officials,” according to court filings.
The former adviser pushed to set up a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and then-candidate Donald Trump and had a meeting in April 2016 with a professor who told him that “the Russians” possessed “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails,” according to court filings.
Ever since the charges were unsealed last week, Trump’s allies have dismissed the former adviser’s influence.
The President called Papadopoulos a “young, low-level volunteer” on Twitter. Former Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo said he was nothing but a “coffee boy” for the campaign. And White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said he was on a “volunteer advisory council that met one time over the course of a year.”
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But reports show he has acted as a representative for Trump’s presidential campaign in a working capacity and as an expert with insight into campaign operations around the world up until January 2017.

Meeting regarding Israel

A video obtained by The Jerusalem Post shows that he met with Israeli settlers around Inauguration Day in Washington.
“We had an excellent meeting with (Yossi Dagan, a leader of a West Bank settler group) and we hope that the people of Judea and Samaria will have a great 2017,” Papadopoulos said. “We are looking forward to ushering in a new relationship with all of Israel, including the historic Judea and Samaria.”
Judea and Samaria are the biblical names used by some in the Israeli government and some pro-Israel groups to argue that the West Bank territory is Jewish land.

AJC panel

At the time of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Papadopoulos spoke at a foreign policy panel hosted by the American Jewish Committee. Other program panelists included Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee and Reps. Tom Marino, R-Pennsylvania, and Ted Yoho, R-Florida.
Based on a review of event video, he was not introduced as a campaign adviser. But in remarks, Papadopoulos referenced at least once working for the campaign. He did not discuss issues connected to Russia.
The AJC, in a statement last week, described his participation as part of a broader effort by the group to maintain contacts “among advisers to both parties’ 2016 presidential candidates and in the two parties’ national committees.”
“Among the panelists in our 2016 Republican National Convention program — in a session titled ‘Defining America’s Role in Global Affairs’ — was George Papadopoulos, then a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser,” the statement continued.

Meeting with British government official

Two months before the presidential election, a British government official met with Papadopoulos for a “working level meeting,” a British foreign office spokesperson said in a statement.
“As you would expect in the run-up to an election, we seek to build links with figures in both the Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns. This type of outreach is normal diplomatic business,” the spokesperson said.
The statement said that such meetings are “merely about building links” and added that “representatives of presidential campaigns are treated as private citizens and we would not share confidential information with them.”